For too long, too many historians have been too much concerned with impersonal forces, underlying structures and long-term developments. Now, 'people' are back. In a post-modern age it is easier to appreciate the decisive role played by individuals, as they ride their luck and seize their opportunity to bend the world to their will. As these essays by twelve eminent historians demonstrate, biography is too important to be left to the amateurs. Among the rich variety of strong characters analysed here are an Austrian emperor, a German kaiser, a Victorian prime minister, an Italian dictator, and an American president. Dedicated to a master-biographer, Derek Beales, the range and quality of this collection will stimulate, inform and entertain everyone interested in the history of the modern world.
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